Mormon Newsroom
News Release

Okinawa Japan Temple to ‘Bless the Entire Community’

Groundbreaking held for Japan’s fourth temple

A small group of Latter-day Saint leaders and invited guests gathered in Okinawa, Japan, on Saturday, December 5, 2020, for the groundbreaking of a new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

“Despite the small gathering, we are extremely grateful as we meet to consecrate this island for the building of a holy temple this day,” said Elder Takashi Wada, Asia North Area president, who presided at the groundbreaking event for the Okinawa Japan Temple.

“Please watch over the people on this island; may all be inspired by thy spirit and recognize the eternal significance of this sacred project,” said Elder Wada in the dedicatory prayer. “We pray that we, and all those who pass near this site, will feel thy presence.”

He continued, “May the inspiring vista bless the entire community, including those not of our faith, and become a cherished landmark for all who live or visit here.”

The groundbreaking officially begins the construction of the new temple. The event was limited to a small gathering because of local government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The Okinawa Japan Temple will be located on a half-acre site at 7-11, Matsumoto, Okinawa Shi, in Okinawa-ken, Japan. Plans call for a two-story, 10,000-square-foot temple. A temple-patron waiting area will also be added to an adjacent existing meetinghouse that was completed in 2013.

Video of the temple groundbreaking event will be posted as soon as it is available.

On Sunday, about 500 people from the Okinawa Japan Stake and the Okinawa Japan Military District are expected to attend, virtually, a devotional focusing on the purpose and blessings of temples.

The Okinawa Japan Temple was announced in April 2019 by President Russell M. Nelson. It will be the fourth temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan. Other temples include the Fukuoka Japan Temple, Sapporo Japan Temple and Tokyo Japan Temple.

Japan is home to more than 130,000 Latter-day Saints in over 260 congregations. The Church has been in Japan since 1901. There are nearly 16.6 million members of the faith around the world.

The Church has 231 temples in various stages of operation or construction globally. By the end of the year, ground will have been broken on 21 temples in 2020.

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels). Visitors are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living.

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